Skip to main content

Foster Honors

Foster Honors is designed to enrich the experience of Foster’s highest achieving students. The goal of the program is to allow students to deepen and intensify their knowledge of business practice and theory. The honors program offers opportunities for research and class-based projects, honors sections of two business classes, and greater access and contact with researchers and practitioners. This access includes access to seminar-style presentations and networking events, to lunches with faculty members to discuss research and new business practice, and to lunches and dinners with practitioners.

Students in Foster Honors will demonstrate greater initiative and purpose and will be rewarded with additional recognition, skills, and knowledge. Honors students graduate from the Foster School “With Distinction.” Employers and graduate schools will factor into their decisions that such students have a high GPA and voluntarily chose to pursue a more difficult pathway.

EligibilityRequirementsAd Hoc & 499 Undergraduate Research Guidelines


All admitted Foster School students meeting the following criteria are eligible to apply to the Foster Honors Program:

  • Completion of at least 60 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher (3.5 for students in the UW College Honors Program)
  • A minimum of 24 graded credits in residence at the UW

Once admitted, students must maintain a cumulative and Business GPA of 3.5 to graduate “With Distinction” from the Foster School of Business. Students are invited to apply yearly in October.


The honors program consists of 14 credits, of which only two are incremental and 12 replace existing work. There are no additional tuitions or fees. The requirements are:

  • BA 390, 2 credits, winter quarter. Introduction to working with other honors students at an advanced level.
  • Two ad hocs or multiple independent research studies (499), totaling eight credits. Replaces or enhances existing credit hours.
  • MGMT 430 Honors, 4 credits, spring quarter. Replaces regular section of MGMT 430.

The program is designed to be completed during junior and senior year, although that timing is not strictly required. Students should take BA 390 during winter quarter of their junior year and MGMT 430H during spring quarter of their senior year. The ad hocs or 499s are best placed during the three quarters between 390 and 430.

Students who complete the Foster Honors Program will graduate from the Foster School “With Distinction” if they complete the honors credit requirement and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in Business and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 at the UW. College Honors students who complete the Foster Honors Program will graduate “With College Honors.”

In addition to the requirements stated above, you must schedule an appointment with the Foster Honors adviser at least once each academic year. During the appointment you will review progress toward completion of honors requirements. To schedule an appointment call 206-685-3400.

Ad Hoc and 499 Undergraduate Research Guidelines

The ad hoc process transforms a business elective into an honors designated course by enabling you to work with your instructor on creating a special project or paper in addition to the regular requirements of the course. Underlying ad hoc and 499 undergraduate research credit is the assumption that the Honors student who exercises this option is interested in pursuing the subject to greater depth and more intensity than that of the regular class and is prepared to undertake the extra work and expend the extra energy to do so. Honors credit reflects qualities of scholarly effort beyond the ordinary.

NOTE:The majority of Upper Division Business Core courses cannot be used for ad hoc credit. An exception is occasionally made for students with a serious interest in ethics who may request to ad hoc MGMT 320. Approval is at the discretion of the Foster Honors faculty adviser.

Ad Hoc and 499 Undergraduate Research Information

Click on each heading to learn more.

Completing an Ad Hoc
Completing an Undergraduate Research Honors 499
Choosing Between an Ad Hoc and an Honors 499
Initiating and Completing an Ad Hoc or Research Project
Examples of Good Ad Hoc Projects
Frequently Asked Questions

Faculty/Student Partnership

No student should take on and no instructor should accept either an ad hoc or honors undergraduate research project unless s/he is able to give the time and effort necessary. Both the student and instructor are committing themselves to extra effort and to the principle that the additional work is a more demanding and more penetrating pursuit of the subject.

Faculty Sponsor

Instructor supervision of ad hoc or undergraduate research honors is restricted to instructors who have previous experience teaching the course (in the case of ad hoc) or expertise in the research area (for 499 undergraduate research). The role of the faculty member is to work with the Foster Honors student throughout the project, assist in developing goals, meet with the student regularly to discuss the project, and assess achievements at the conclusion of the quarter.